Luisa Rabanal's 1st London Marathon, 22 April

Report from Luisa:

Last Sunday I ran the Virgin London Marathon, my debut performance after only a year of running.  The nerves set in about three weeks before the race, but what a fantastic day it was from start to finish! The morning started with me spotting some of the elites including Liz Yelling jogging round the park for a warm up as I was walking to Greenwich Park. When I got to my pen at the red start I found the Runner’s World Pacer as I was hoping for a 4 hour finish. Well to be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d make this but I wanted to run with the pacer for the first half and then reassess the pace. I ran with Justin the pacer (who’d completed no less than 22 marathons!) and a group of lovely 4-hour hopefuls, some of them first-timers like myself. It was so great to run with a group after so many long and lonely training runs! We set off at 9 minute miles and the pace felt great, the sun was shining and the crowds were fantastic! After mile 16 I slowed down and left the pacer, knowing I wouldn’t be able to continue at that pace. I’m glad I did this as it meant I had a bit more energy towards the end. Miles 19 and 25 were notoriously tough! But somehow the carb gels, brilliant crowd support and sightings of family and friends got me through and I finished with a time of 4h 14m 38s which did me proud!
Will I do another one? Definitely! Next time, I’ll aim to get that elusive sub-4!

Luisa Rabanal